VNRC Awards RACDC $5,000 for Community Engagement Efforts
The Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC) has been awarded a Small Grant for Smart Growth by the Vermont Natural Resources Council. RACDC will use the funds to support community engagement and education of the proposed Salisbury Square Planned Community, a net-zero affordable housing development located in downtown Randolph.
The current phase of the Salisbury Square project builds upon the initial work of RACDC on this site, which included the development of 14 apartments. Phase II moves forward with a proposed mixed-development of up to 21 new rental and single-family homes that are all net-zero, high-performance homes with solar generation and battery storage. The project planning also features a groundbreaking microgrid system to provide neighborhood-level energy resiliency.
Sarah Shaw, Events & Communications Coordinator with RACDC, shared that RACDC was motivated to apply for a VNRC Small Grant for Smart Growth “not only because of the vital resources it could offer the Salisbury Square housing project’s development planning, but also because the grant program incentivizes community inclusion, which is critical in developing housing options that contribute to a true sense of place and preserve local resources.”
RACDC plans to use the Small Grant to communicate the technical aspects of the Salisbury Square project and the community-scale benefits of energy efficient building practices with the Randolph community, municipal agencies, and interested tenants and homebuyers.
“The proposed Salisbury Square project is an exciting example of the type of innovative planning and coordination needed to address the interconnected goals of safe and healthy homes, energy efficiency, and community resilience to extreme weather events,” said Kati Gallagher, Sustainable Communities Program Director at VNRC, who administers the Small Grants for Smart Growth program.
“Salisbury Square will be an important model for others as we seek to meet the critical and timely needs of affordable housing options and modernization of our energy supply and use. RACDC’s dedication to community engagement, along with the smart growth location of the development, made for a particularly worthy Small Grants for Smart Growth project.”
Small Grants for Smart Growth, launched by VNRC in 2018, provides seed money for community-based initiatives related to smart growth, advocacy for better land use; advancing transportation choice; supporting housing choice and affordability; promoting downtown or village revitalization; advocating natural resource conservation; and more.
RACDC was selected from a competitive round of entries that closed in January 2022. This competitive round aimed to support projects pursuing smart growth solutions as recommended by the Vermont Climate Action Plan, released in December 2021. RACDC is the first grantee to receive a $5,000 Small Grant.
Additional grants of $500 to $1,500 are available from VNRC throughout the year on a rolling basis. Learn more at https://vnrc.org/small-grants-for-smart-growth/.
The Small Grants for Smart Growth program is made possible with financial support from Beth Humstone, co-founder of the Vermont Forum on Sprawl and former VNRC board chair, and her son, Chris Gignoux.